One year ago today, The Bull got a phone call that changed our immediate and long term plans. It was an Alaska State Trooper and he was wondering why Four Young Adults had my camera and The Bull’s prescription drugs. There was no reason for them to have had them. Turns out these Four Young Adults had been in our home, unauthorized, and helped themselves to some of our things. Nothing of great value; mainly sentimental things. A camera that The Bull’s dad had taken pics with when the kids were young; things our dads had given to us; trinkets given to us by people long since passed away. Clif bars and polished stones.
The Four Young Adults were arrested 22 June. One young man appears to be a career criminal with a rap sheet as long as my arm. Two others have a pretty good start on their life of crime: a young man and a young lady. (To be honest, she has been a defendant in several of her cases.) The fourth is a young lady who seemed to have a promising future; a Google search shows awards and honor roll listings and no prior offenses. Both young ladies had young daughters. The Bull attended their arraignment. One of the young ladies was crying, wondering who would take care of her daughter.
Most posted bail and were out of jail within a week or two. We were still not sure why they picked our house to rob and burglarize, or if they would return. The stolen and recovered items would be returned to us; we hoped soon. But the broken and missing things we only had hopes of getting money back.
Needless to say, this added to my already high anxiety level with being pregnant with unusual symptoms after miscarrying. How do you tell the kids that no, someone wouldn’t be interested in stealing their toys when thieves broke in and carried off board games?!
You would think that this would be a quick ordeal as the persons were caught red handed. Oh No Not At All. The Grand Jury trial was within the month, but their court dates were pushed back again and again, month after month.
In October we spent substantial time trying to place values on our belongings. How do you estimate the value of something purchased brand new for a small fortune in 1970, a family treasure, that now can only be purchased used for about a hundred bucks? How do you value a hand made, one of a kind item made by someone now deceased? Items that you weren’t even sure how many you had? The restitution is only allowed to be actual purchase price as proven by receipts or actual replacement value.
All Four Young Adults finally made Plea Agreements in January/ February of this year. You would think that this would end the ordeal. Oh No Not At All. We still had to wait to be allowed to claim our stolen property. (We finally got our items back on 9 June 2011.)
Then there is the matter of restitution for the items that were damaged or disposed of (including The Bull’s father’s camera.) Part of the Plea Agreements was that we would receive from these Four Young Adults money to replace these items. If nothing else, we figured we would get our due in October 2011 when their Alaska Permanent Fund Dividends would be garnished.
The matter is concluded, right? Oh No Not At All. Last Friday we were informed that one of these Four Young Adults (Mr. Career Criminal) is contesting the restitution. The Bull needs to rearrange his work schedule to take substantial time off to make a 3 hour drive, one way, to take to the court paperwork that they have already been given and testify.
Where is the justice????? We have been wronged and yet the courts allow these criminals to continue to delay justice. I am SO frustrated right now I want to scream!!